Research: John Kippin

Based upon feedback from my video project, I decided to look more specifically at the work of landscape photographer, John Kippin. This was cited in reference to defining my images more such as through the application of text or ‘punchy’ images to evoke a greater visual impact with photo stories following hard hitting subjects.

At this stage, I am unsure as to whether or not the application of text would prove to be a successful approach for the purpose of my final major project, however, I wanted this research to act as a starting point for the consideration of text and images together and the resulting influence this can have upon the audience.

John Kippin is an artist and photographer who lives and works in the north-east of England and who works largely within the broad context of landscape. Many of his works integrate texts and images in ways that challenge the realist paradigm that traditionally underpins a range of documentary and realist practices.

John Kippin’s work pays allegiance to the conventions and traditions of pictorial landscape whilst foregrounding issues within contemporary culture and politics. In addition to works made for the gallery, he has produced a number of public art-works and publications.

His work has been widely exhibited both in the United Kingdom and overseas and is in many collections. He has contributed to numerous conferences and symposia and is currently Professor in Photography at the University of Sunderland.

Work available to view on this site includes a range of exhibited, published and commissioned work from 1987.

For the purposes of this post, I decided to focus upon particular archives of his work that I found to be both aesthetically and conceptually compelling in their approach and use of text. With this, I have also consider examples that prove to be more relevant to the topic I am currently exploring for this module.




Blue Streak 2

Compton Verney 6

Compton Verney 7


Shipwreck Orkney

Authentic Reproduction

Surveillance Anglers

Moonrise over Teeside




Each of the examples I have highlighted offer their own story and purpose within their narratives, often bold in their aesthetic approach. I found that this was especially the case with futureland which felt the most relevant in regards to my own intentions for this project. The inclusion of text was not always necessary but often aimed to set the tone and overall theme for the rest of the sequence.

I found Kippin work to be very appealing and certainly ‘punchy’ in its impact upon me. I found the simplicity of the text itself to be quite appealing in that it offer one or two key words to generate its intentions, enough being left unsaid to allow the viewer to determine what that might mean in the relation to the image and following images.

Overall, I would certain consider this technique for future experimentation.


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